This blog will help you get a good understanding of what a wedding coordinator actually does. I’m going to go through the 10 most common misconceptions people hold about wedding coordinators. If you thought experience what the most important qualification for a coordinator, I think you’ll find this blog interesting.
It’s The Coordinator’s Job to Set Clear Expectations
I do want to preface this blog by saying you won’t hear me ragging on my clients or complaining about anything any of my clients have ever asked or expected me to do. If I’m ever asked to do something that I don’t think is in my job description, I can always say no, or say yes and take note that next time I’ll set different expectations.
You Don’t Know Until You Know
Most people plan one maybe two weddings their entire life, and there’s no way to know what you don’t know unless people who do know tell you what you need to know.
1 Wedding Coordinators Boss People Around for a Living
This is false and here is why. A wedding coordinator is a liaison between you (the client) and the professionals you’ve hired. Your coordinator’s ability to do her job depends on the cooperation she receives from the other professionals you hire. Experienced professionals don’t want to be bossed, but they are appreciative of a point of contact, someone to communicate the plan. I’d say we give people direction, communicate our client’s wants, keep the team informed of changes. I wouldn’t say I boss people around, I don’t do that. Attract more bees with honey, honey.
2 A Wedding Coordinator Can Fill In for Another Wedding Professional
It’s Black and White
It’s black and white. She shouldn’t put together your DIY floral, bus your tables, man a video camera, stand in for the officiant or drive your wedding party around town. A good rule of thumb is that if there are professionals who generally do the work you want to be done, it is best to ask them to do it. First its not her specialty, second it prevents her from doing the job of coordinating, and third if she were to agree to that she’d jeopardize the relationships she has with the professionals who actually do that work.
Except When It’s Grey
Now, if something goes awry, well then it’s grey. Yes, she can step up and try to make things work. That’s why you may catch a wedding coordinator repairing a boutonnière, bussing the cake table, holding equipment for a photographer, or delivering a suit to a relieved groomsman. But you won’t find those duties on the timeline for the day because they are items that she should plan to do.
3 A Wedding Coordinator Only Works the Day of the Wedding
There’s a good bit of leg work in order to show up on the wedding day and actually do a good job. You don’t expect Sean Peyton to show up game day without preparation. You’re wedding day is like game day.
4 My Wedding Coordinator will Pay Balances to Other Professionals and I’ll Reimburse Her
This confuses the heck out of my bookkeeping. But more importantly, it’s outside the boundaries of what a coordinator handles. I am happy to handover a check or gratuity to a pro if needed, and I ask for those payments to be in a labeled and sealed envelope.
5 My Wedding Coordinator will Be At My Side From Getting Ready to the Send-Off
Some coordinators offer a personal attendant for the day, and that is almost never the lead wedding coordinator. If she were with you all day, she’d be no use to the wedding pro team. I usually check in with my clients early in the day, then head to the venues, set up, orient pros to the space, put out fires, then pop back in for any critical moments. Like the first look, or getting people on transportation. Then once the ceremony begins, I do generally have eyes (either mine or an assistant) on the couple for the rest of the night.
6 My Wedding Coordinator will Wear High Heels and an Evening Gown to my Reception
I mean I guess this is possible, the job of a coordinator varies depending on the market. I’m sure there are weddings and some wonder woman coordinators out there that can do heels for a 12 hours day. I’m not that woman, you’ll catch me in black slacks, dressy black top, black blazer, with at least 2 pairs of comfortable shoes with me (not on me, but one in my bag!) I move on the wedding day, jog, jump, climb, and on occasion, I’ve broken out into a full out sprint. No ball gowns for this woman.
7 She Can Coordinate My Wedding Without Any Input From Me Prior
Now, have you ever said these words? “I didn’t tell them, but I figured it was understood that…” I’m guilty of this. Like that first time I got the Popeyes chicken sandwich and didn’t know I had to ask for the spicy one.
Me: “They should have known I wanted the spicy one, the other one has no sauce.”
Ok they shouldn’t have known, but I wish they had.
Brides and Grooms: “I didn’t tell the coordinator that I wanted after ceremony pictures with my wedding party, but she should have known.” Actually a lot of people don’t do those pictures after the ceremony.
I think the problem here is assumptions. There are so many different scenarios for weddings, that no one can really assume it’s going one way or another. It’s for that reason that we create a timeline so specific that it takes all the guesswork out. We show you in writing, on a timeline, how we expect the day to go, and then we use that timeline as a roadmap for the day. Our timelines are designed so that if God forbid something happened and a coordinator could not show up, another one of our team members could pick up the timeline and direct the day according to plan.
8 She Won’t Need to See My Contracts with Other Professionals Because She Didn’t Book or Pay Them
How can she make sure your day goes as planned without the plans. The contracts and agreements you sign are the directions for the day. They say who has agreed to what for how long, at what location, and in what color. Give your coordinator the contracts and she has the information she needs to do her job.
9 She Can Finish My DIY Projects and Make Them Look Like They Do on My Pinterest Board
Most coordinators don’t finish DIY projects as part of a wedding coordination package. I actually really wish I could do this. But the fact is, if the client couldn’t get it to work, I’m not going to be able to pull a rabbit out in a pinch either.
10 The More Experience the Better the Coordinator
When I was in college, I took a Business Law class. I was a good student, basically never got a B. But in that class we had to write these briefs. I flunked the first one. So, I researched and researched, read the chapter twice, changed my method, and tried again. And in my opinion, it was good work. Yet, I flunked it again. Then I went to my friend who took the class the year before. She had struggled with the briefs too and went to this same professor and asked her straight up how to ace it. The professor gave her an outline of what she expected. My friend gave me the outline. I did exactly what the outline asked, and got the perfect grade on every other brief that year. Point is that it wasn’t experience that made me better at the job.
To get the A, I needed three things.
1. (A relevant network) The friend with first-hand experience with this professor
2. (A blueprint) The outline to guide me in writing the brief to the professor’s expectations.
3. The (flexibility) to reject my way of doing it and instead do it the way the professor wanted it done.
If you want a great coordinator who is going to ace your wedding, make sure she has the same.
1. A relevant network, that can give her the 411 on your venue and wedding professionals you hire,
2. A blueprint or in the case of a wedding a timeline for the day with all the details that you the client want to happen on wedding day, and
3. The flexibility to coordinate your wedding the way you envision it.
Ok, so curious, did I clear up any misconceptions for you? If so please comment below! Also, check out our YouTube channel for this same content in video format!